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Spain - 2003


Spain in 2003 was a last minute "quickie", allowing us a short break for our anniversary. We chose Calpe, as we had fond memories of a family holiday, shared with friends, in a delightful villa, when our children were young. Very much a DIY affair, we obtained BA flights to Alicante from Gatwick, arranged car hire through Avis and booked the hotel directly, the SH Ifach. We also intended to look up old friends who now live in Orba, very close to Calpe.

Penon D'Ifach

Penon D Ifach - Calpe

The flight to Alicante was perfectly adequate, arrival formalities straightforward, no major queues in picking up our hire car (although it was not the one reserved, but perfectly adequate nevertheless) and we were soon heading off in the direction of Calpe. We were interested to see the changes in this part of Spain - better roads, and a lot of development. The journey was straightforward and apart from one wrong turning in Calpe itself, following a new one way system, we arrived at the hotel.

The SH Ifach, hotel is an unusual design, but many Spanish resorts seem to be a mixture of unusual (and not always tasteful) buildings. Check in was simple, our room was very pleasant, on an upper floor, with a good view of the Penon D'Ifach and the sea. It was rather impersonal but the food was good and it was well located with easy access to the areas on both sides of the Penon.

SH Ifach, Calpe

Hotel SH Ifach, Calpe

Calpe had changed and expanded and many fairly high rise and ugly apartment blocks had been constructed in addition to the ever expanding villa "urbanizations" surrounding the main town. Nevertheless we thought that the old village had not fundamentally changed and there were plenty of places to eat - although a few of them looked out of place with garish facades and fast (ish) food. However, we were able to find sufficient, traditionally styled places and the seafood was still good! We spent much of our time just strolling and reminiscing - a real, laid back, break!

We also made the trip to Orba (or rather Orbetta), meeting up with our friends just off the coastal road. Orbetta is a delightful Spanish village, a few miles inland from the coast, where our friends have an old style village house - bags of character in the house and the village. We chatted and caught up with life, strolled around the village, ate at a wonderful local restaurant (non-touristy) and had an excellent time.

This trip did just what was required - provided a very relaxing break and allowing us to catch up with old memories and old friends.

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